6 min read May 14, 2024

How Can a Jumbo Mortgage Loan Help You?

Jumbo loans are mortgages meant for properties valued higher than the FHFA’s annual conforming loan limit. The jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage rate and the jumbo 15-year fixed mortgage rate as of April 17, 2024, are 7.20% and 7.16%, respectively.

Jumbo loans pose a higher risk for lenders who assume full responsibility for borrower defaults, as they lack Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae insurance coverage.

💸 Jumbo Mortgage Loan Features

  • Jumbo loan rates are similar to conventional loans, but you’ll typically need a bigger down payment(10-15%).
  • Jumbo mortgage loans are for houses exceeding the limit, which is usually above $766,550 in most US areas (as of 2024).
  • Jumbo loans require tougher qualifications, such as a higher credit score, more money, and a larger down payment.

What Is a Jumbo Loan?

A jumbo mortgage loan is your key to financing a costly dream home. Moreover, this type of loan is available for homes that cost more than the maximum amount that regular mortgages can lend. 

The interest rates set by the Federal Reserve may fluctuate in line with jumbo loan rates. This means that jumbo loan rates will also rise if the Fed raises rates. In addition, jumbo loans are also a type of portfolio loan since they are typically kept on the lenders’ books as they cannot be resold.

How Does a Jumbo Mortgage Work?

Jumbo loans are not backed by government agencies, in contrast to conventional mortgages. A credit score of 700 or higher and a favorable debt-to-income (DTI) ratio of 43% or lower are prerequisites for approval of a jumbo loan.

Moreover, lenders will also take a closer look at your finances. And expect you to provide documents like W-2s, tax returns, and bank/investment statements for the past two years. They also want to be sure you can comfortably afford the mortgage payments.

Besides this, if you’re self-employed, the income requirements are greater: two years of tax returns and at least 60 days of current bank statements. Lenders also want to see non-liquid asset ownership, including other real estate properties. 

Although jumbo lenders have different requirements, they usually require a down payment of 10% to 15%, though some might require 20% or more. 

What Are Requirements for a Jumbo Loan?

A large financial commitment is required for jumbo loans. It opens the door to financing luxury homes, but before that, it is essential to meet stricter requirements in comparison to conventional mortgages. The following criteria are: 

Credit Score

Jumbo loan lenders usually require a credit score above 700. This lowers the risk for the lender and shows a good credit management.

Down Payment

When it comes to down payments, jumbo loans demand a substantially higher amount than standard loans. The range may be as high as 20% or lower, based on your overall financial profile and the lender. A higher down payment increases your initial equity in the property, which reduces the lender’s risk.

Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

A good DTI is essential. This ratio evaluates the difference between your gross monthly income and all of your monthly debt payments (credit card, rent, auto loans, etc.). You must aim for a DTI ratio of less than 50%. This proves that you make enough money to pay off your current debts in addition to the jumbo loan payment.

Financial Documents

Lenders will need a lot of paperwork to confirm your ability to repay the loan. They may want tax returns, W-2s, and recent statements from your bank, as well as any investment account statements (if any).

>> Check Jumbo vs. Conventional Loans for Home Purchase

Pros And Cons of Jumbo Loans

Homes that are beyond the reach of traditional mortgages can be bought with the help of jumbo loans. But they have benefits and drawbacks, just like any other financial loan. 

Pros

  • Purchasing the House of Your Dreams: Being able to finance homes that are larger than the conforming loan limit is the main benefit of a jumbo loan. This makes it feasible to purchase luxury homes or homes in upscale neighborhoods that are not accessible with a conventional mortgage.
  • Potential Flexibility: When compared to conforming loans, some jumbo lenders may provide slightly more flexible qualifying terms.
  • Competing Interest Rates: Jumbo loans occasionally have marginally lower interest rates than conforming loans, though this is not always the case. Throughout your mortgage, this could result in significant savings.

Cons

  • Higher Interest Rates: Jumbo loans might have higher interest rates than regular mortgages due to the extra risk for lenders. This can translate to higher monthly payments.
  • Restricted Lender Availability: To compare rates and terms, you may need to look for lenders who specialize in these high-value mortgages, which may reduce your options. 
  • Bigger Down Payment Requirement: A bigger down payment requirement may pose a serious financial challenge. Make sure you can access your savings without compromising your ability to make ends meet.

Jumbo Loan vs. Conforming Loan 

There are several factors to consider when selecting the mortgage for your ideal home. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the key differences between jumbo loans and conforming loans. 

FeaturesJumbo LoanConforming Loan

Maximum Loan Amount


Exceeds conforming loan limit ($766,550+ in 2024).


Up to the conforming loan limit set by the FHFA (usually $766,550 in most areas, 2024).
Suitable for
Luxury residences and properties with high value.


Houses with prices below the conforming loan limit.



Qualifications Needed 



A reduced DTI ratio, a bigger down payment, and an improved credit score.



A lower credit score requirement, a smaller down payment, and more flexibility for DTI.



Interest Rates 



Interest rates are greater or lower than the conforming loan.



Interest rates are generally competitive.



Lender Accessibility 



Jumbo loans are less common than conforming loans among lenders. 



Conforming loans are what most lenders offer.

Bottom Line 

Jumbo loans from some lenders may provide slightly more flexibility in qualifying terms than conforming loans. Borrowers with excellent credit histories but non-traditional sources of income can benefit from such loans.

In some cases, jumbo loans can also have slightly lower interest rates compared to conforming loans, translating to significant savings over the life of your mortgage.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a jumbo loan?

A jumbo loan is a type of mortgage intended for properties that are larger than the annual conforming loan limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The maximum amount in most US regions as of April 2024 is $766,550.

How Much Down Payment Is Required for a Jumbo Loan?

One should budget for a higher down payment, usually in the range of 10% to 20% or even more of the total cost of the house. This reduces the lender's risk by demonstrating to them your substantial financial interest in the property.

Are Jumbo Loan Interest Rates Higher?

Jumbo loan rates can be slightly higher or lower than conforming loan rates, depending on the state of the market. It's important to compare rates from different lenders.

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